Sunday, November 14, 2010

So Long, 40. Hello, 41! ...

Another year, safely tucked away.

While I'm not one for primping – friends and family can confirm that most of my "wardrobe" is grey – I did pay a visit to J-D on Thursday to allow him and his foils and his magic pots of goo to return my hair to golden-blonde splendor from the frumpiness that had set in. I refused to turn 41 with visible greys.

Each year, I gather with a group of friends for a birthday lunch, either the day before or the day of. This year, we convened the day before at Club Lago, a place that can best be described as a "joint," in the neighborhood for decades, long before River North became the art-gallery and loft-condo neighborhood it is today. It's featured in the film "Mad Dog and Glory" and charms me with its lack of pretension. Get a booth opposite the bar if you can; the tables in back are crammed together, and yes, they have red-and-white checkered tablecloths.

I always get the linguine and white clam sauce, but wherever I am, the birthday lunches really aren't about the food. They're about my friends, and this year's group was perfect, as always. Me and Doreen and Angela and Mike and this year's addition, Sheila.

Two glasses of Cabernet and a cannoli later, I hugged Angela, Sheila, and Mike goodbye, and Doreen and I wandered off to get coffee. I got a double espresso. It had no discernible effect on me. Uh oh. My caffeine tolerance may be a bit too high.

We spied Open Books and wandered inside. What a cool place. A used bookstore/literacy organization. Doreen signed us up to volunteer. I resisted the urge to buy some books. I need to thin my collection again (and donate them to Open Books) before adding more.

We continued to wander but were too early to have a drink at "the dry brownie place," aka Gilt Bar. We headed back to her condo to drop off goods and our steam waned. We loafed and gabbed and she began to thin out her books. I eventually had enough energy to head for home, where I remembered to get into bed left foot first and turn my pillow over.

And so I woke up, so, so, so, so, so early on Saturday, the official day. I opened my second card from Doreen and puttered about until mom and dad came over for coffee and Danish. The rest of the morning threw a bit of a curve into my plans, but I've gotten rather good at rolling with the punches. Or being in Easy World. Which is another post for another time.

Mom came by with flowers. A FedEx guy came by with more, from my cousins in New York. Facebook was abuzz with well wishes, which was very sweet. Why do we wait for a "special" day to let people know how we feel? I vow to let people know more often.

Dinner was, as it always is, lasagna at my folks' house with my brother and his family. In lieu of a cake, I requested Russian Torte, a lovely apricot and walnut and dough and meringue creation that we usually have at Christmas. Delightful stuff.

And then home, to return to my comfy clothes and my couch and the winding down of the day.

And so here I am, 41 and happy for it. Some friends have good-naturedly asked if I turned 29 again. But I'm glad to own my age. I have lost friends and family too soon, too young. I relish every birthday. Every year is a gift.

All my love and thanks to everyone who made the days so special. I look forward to 42.


Anonymous Alison said...

Happy Birthday! It's certainly belated at this point. I saw the flowers on FB, but did not grok...

Here's to a wonderful year, Beth.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, woman. 'Twill be wonderful, indeed.

5:32 AM  

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